Helsinki, Finland

>> Watch live WEBCAST from the plenary session.

15.1.2016: Deadline for abstracts
1.1.2016: Registration opens
2.2.2016: Deadline for papers
8.2.2016: Registration closes


Development discourse of the past twenty years has encouraged new and alternative visions of development. In particular, the unsustainability of mainstream development and increasing inequality have forcefully underscored the need to re-think development and re-orient mainstream development strategies. But what kinds of alternatives get conceptualized, and how does alternative development thinking inform practice? In what ways do such alternatives connect to mainstream development policies now and in the future?

Development Day 2016 provides a forum for researchers, students and development professionals to picture and discuss alternatives towards more sustainable and equitable development. It invites research from a variety of perspectives, both theoretical and policy-oriented, to engage with alternatives as they emerge in diverse areas such as knowledge production, governance, management, natural resource conservation or new forms of civil society organization. Relatedly, Development Day encourages papers which critically investigate the potential and limitations of alternatives offered by labour, indigenous, peasant, environmental or women’s movements as well as of changes induced by development institutions and the media.

The keynote speaker for this event is Professor Neera Chandhoke, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. Professor Chandhoke has published widely on social justice, civil society participation, globalization and comparative politics. Her keynote speech is entitled “Realising Justice”.

Preceding Development Day, on February 10, UniPID will launch a new nationwide initiative to support the training and networking of doctoral students in Development Research. The Finnish Development Research doctoral network – UniPID DocNet will bring together both doctoral candidates and their supervisors. The launch event introduces the first UniPID DocShop titled “Towards excellent PhD supervision in development research”. The workshop will be followed by a cocktail event, where the first call for UniPID DocNet membership is published.  A questionnaire to map doctoral students’ experiences of supervision and the registration for the launch event will be open soon! More information about the network can be found on the UniPID Website.

In addition, the annual meeting of the Finnish Society for Development Research (FSDR) will take place after the working group sessions on 11 February at the House of Science and Letters (Tieteiden Talo, Kirkkokatu 6) at 5.30 pm.  New members are welcome.


Development Day 2016 is aimed at both senior and early-stage researchers. The call for papers is targeted at PhDs and PhD students, based on the thematic working group sessions taking place on the first day of the conference (see below for session descriptions).

The second day of the conference is dedicated to Master’s students, where they will have the opportunity to present their research and obtain feedback from senior scholars in a workshop setting. The theme of the Master’s workshop is open. Master’s students are strongly encouraged to participate in the conference plenary and working group sessions.

Those interested in presenting their research are invited to submit an abstract of 250 words (maximum) in English by 4 December 2015 (extended to 15 January 2016) to the coordinator of the thematic working group session in which they wish to present. Master’s students may submit their abstracts directly to the organizing committee (FSDR2016[at]gmail.com). Acceptance of abstracts will be announced in mid-December. Conference papers of 9,000 words (maximum) and Master’s contributions of 5,000 words (maximum) should be completed and sent to the thematic working group session coordinators or to the Master’s workshop organizing committee by 2 February 2016.


The thematic working group sessions represent the main bulk of academic debates during the conference. They are organized thematically and open to all registered participants in the conference, including those who do not present a paper.


You may register from 1 January 2016 onwards on: www.kehitystutkimus.fi/conference/registration .

The conference is free of charge to all Finnish Society for Development Research members. For non-members, the conference fee is €20 for researchers and €10 for Master’s students. By paying the fee, you also become a member of the Finnish Society for Development Research. For further details, visit, www.kehitystutkimus.fi/?page_id=31.

Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.